Introduction: The Unhappy Divorce: From Marginalization to Revitalization
It seems fair to say that, in the mainstream of American sociology, psychoanalysis is often seen as outside the field’s primary concerns. In 2014, many if not most contemporary scholars in the field are inclined to view the Freudian tradition suspiciously, and as beyond the purview of the “bread and butter” issues’including class, race and gender inequalities’that concern and frame the field in the US. The realms of the psychic and the psychoanalytic are perceived as too intent on prioritizing the individual and the individualized, the subjective and the sui generis, to be properly sociological; then, too, psychoanalytic methods and those of social scientific research tend to be seen as having little or nothing in common. As a result, in this second decade of the twenty-first century, graduate students and senior professors/advisers may hesitate before employing or encouraging the use of psychoanalytic concepts and tools in sociological research. Will this make one’s work unacceptable or not sufficiently sociological by common standards? Then too, practically speaking, highlighting this strain of thought may make it harder’in a time period permeated with anxieties and scarcities’to find academic jobs on which people’s livelihoods and fulfillment depend.
KeywordsSocial Movement Conspiracy Theory Frankfurt School Social Scientific Research Canadian Sociologist
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